Anjali Ranadive

Kings Notes: Losing Streak, Rotation, Murray, NBAGL Team

The Kings remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race with a 23-18 record, but they’re in the midst of their worst stretch of the season, having dropped a fourth consecutive game on Thursday. While road losses in Philadelphia and Milwaukee last Friday and Sunday were understandable, Sacramento blew a big fourth quarter lead in Phoenix on Tuesday and fell at home to a depleted Pacers team last night.

“It’s a lot of little things that are turning into big things,” Keegan Murray said of the Kings’ on-court issues, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

One of those issues is free throw shooting. The Kings’ 72.5% rate from the foul line this season is easily the NBA’s worst mark and the team made just 25-of-44 (56.8%) free throws in its past two losses.

“That’s two games in a row we shoot 50% from the free throw line,” head coach Mike Brown said on Thursday. “I’m not sure what it is. Today we shot more free throws in a shootaround than we ever have in a shootaround since I’ve been here. And yesterday, we shot more free throws in a practice than we ever have since I’ve been here.”

“You go back to the work. You get in the gym,” wing Kevin Huerter said. “You’ve got to build your confidence by trusting the work you put in. We shot ourselves in the foot. This is the third game in a row this has happened against three good teams. It feels like it’s all self-inflicted and that’s why it’s frustrating for us. It’s no secret. We can’t miss 14 free throws at home and expect to beat a team that’s this good, even with the players they have out. That’s stuff that we can control.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Despite the losing streak, Brown seems to have settled into a rotation he likes, with Huerter back in the starting five and Malik Monk, Trey Lyles, Sasha Vezenkov, and Alex Len playing regular minutes off the bench, notes Anderson. “I hate to say this, but I feel fairly comfortable (with the current rotation),” Brown said prior to Thursday’s loss. “Now, that doesn’t mean I may not change again with the way our rotation is right now, but I feel fairly comfortable with what we’re doing right now, and I’m going to ride with it a little bit and give it an opportunity.” Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, Keon Ellis, and JaVale McGee are among those not seeing regular playing time as of late.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic outlines why the Kings consider Murray essentially untouchable in trade talks, writing that the team views the former No. 4 overall pick as a player who could round out a long-term big three alongside Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. “Keegan is a huge part of our future,” Brown said. “We rely on him for a lot and, to a certain degree, it is a little unfair. Because we’re a playoff team. There aren’t many guys that are in year two that are expected to do what he does.”
  • Anjali Ranadive, the daughter of Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, has stepped down from her position as the general manager of the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate announced today in a press release. She’ll be pursuing a Ph.D. and focusing on her non-profit organization while assistant general manager Gabriel Harris takes on the day-to-day GM responsibilities in Stockton. “We are grateful to Anjali for her contributions to the Stockton Kings over the past two seasons,” Kings GM Monte McNair said in a statement. “Under her leadership the team has excelled on the court and is set for success in the future.”
  • In other Stockton news, the Kings’ G League team added a former NBA first-round pick earlier this week, announcing in a press release that veteran swingman Shabazz Muhammad has joined the roster. The No. 14 pick in the 2013 draft, Muhammad last played in the NBA in 2018 for Milwaukee, but continues to try to make it back to the league.

Kings Name Two Women To Lead G League Team

The Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate, made history on Tuesday by naming Lindsey Harding as their head coach and Anjali Ranadivé as general manager, according to a team press release.

It’s the first time that two women will hold the top positions for a G League franchise.

Harding replaces Bobby Jackson, who left the Kings organization to join Nick Nurse’s staff with the 76ers. Ranadivé, the daughter of owner Vivek Ranadivé, replaces Paul Johnson, who will take a front office role with the NBA team after winning the 2023 G League Basketball Executive of the Year award.

Harding spent the past four seasons as an assistant/player development coach with the NBA Kings. She previously worked as a player development coach and pro personnel scout with the 76ers. Harding is also currently the head coach of the Mexican women’s national team.

Anjali Ranadivé served as assistant GM in Stockton last season. She previously worked for the Kings organization as a coordinator in the Social Responsibility department.

California Notes: Porter, Warriors, Looney, A. Ranadive

Warriors reserve forward Otto Porter Jr. is “probable” to suit up for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link). Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said that Porter was a full practice participant on Tuesday, according to Andrews.

Porter missed Game 6 of the Warriors’ Western Conference Semifinals due to right foot soreness, a 110-96 Golden State victory. The 6’8″ veteran forward has proven to be a sharpshooting backup for the Warriors, and will reach free agency this summer.

There’s more out of California:

  • The Warriors made a mint during the first two rounds of the playoffs. Golden State netted about $7MM in gross box office per home game en route to a Western Conference Finals return, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, who says that number will increase this round. This season marks the first time since the team’s 2019 Finals run that the Warriors have made the playoffs at Chase Center. The Warriors made the play-in tournament in 2021 but did not advance to the playoffs.
  • It appears possible that the Warriors could start center Kevon Looney to begin the Western Conference Finals to counter Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter video link). “Loon will play a big role,” Kerr said. “He played well against Dallas in the regular season. We’ll see what that means in terms of combinations, starters, all that.”
  • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive‘s daughter Anjali Ranadive will serve as the assistant GM for Sacramento’s NBAGL affiliate club, the Stockton Kings, per Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 KTXL in Sacramento (Twitter link). Cunningham notes (via Twitter) that the younger Ranadive has already been working with the team’s social responsibility department, and her new position will include player evaluations and development, as well as team strategy.